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Possibilities in Practice

Social Justice Teaching in the Disciplines

Edited By Summer Melody Pennell, Ashley S. Boyd, Hillary Parkhouse and Alison LaGarry

This edited collection illustrates different possibilities for social justice practice in various grade levels, disciplines, and interdisciplinary spaces in P–12 education. Chapters in this unique volume demonstrate teaching with a critical lens, helping students develop critical dispositions, encouraging civic action with students, and teaching about topics inclusive of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Based on empirical research, each contribution is rooted in a critical theoretical framework and characterizes findings from sustained study of pedagogic practice, spanning subject matter from social studies, English Language Arts, music, mathematics, and science. Through this work, both pre- and in-service teachers as well as teacher educators will be inspired to practice social justice in their own classrooms.

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Chapter Four: We Are: Exploring an Anti-Racist Summer Program for Elementary Students Kindergarten–3rd Grade (Ronda Taylor Bullock / Cherish Williams / Daniel Kelvin Bullock / Stef Bernal-Martinez)


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we are

Exploring an Anti-Racist Summer Program for Elementary Students

Kindergarten–3rd Grade


Social justice education is an ongoing process of creating curriculum and learning opportunities geared toward addressing issues of inequity. Curriculum that specifically names inequities or addresses biases related to racism, heterosexism, sexism or religious discrimination, for example, makes these somewhat abstract concepts more concrete for students to grasp. This type of teaching focuses on actions that purposefully seek to create inclusive spaces that build community and validate individual students’ identities and cultures.

Anti-racist education, which centers practices that dismantle systemic and ideological racism, falls under the umbrella of social justice teaching. we are, which stands for working to extend anti-racist education, is an affiliate of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. Its primary purpose is to provide anti-racist educational programs for students, parents and educators. we are uses a three-pronged approach to dismantle systemic racism in education and beyond through summer camps for kids, workshops for parents, and professional development for educators.

As a team of both current and former teachers, doctoral students, and passionate parents, we are created a curriculum for students in kindergarten through second grade. The first author of this chapter is the cofounder and director of we are. During the initial stages of the organization’s formation,...

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